Monday, 9 January 2012

First Schoolboy Error Of The Year

A free Sunday, no plans at all! To Blashford Lakes near Ringwood once I could get Kath up an rearing to go (Don't think she was rearing all day to be honest.) 10am Departure planned, so its a bit rubbish when you have to go and wake your sister up at 10.05am on a Sunday morning so you can go birding. So 10am Departure turns into 11am. 

Now having treated myself as a necessity to a Manfrotto 679B Monopod with a Tilting Head, mainly because of the weight of my new Lens we left the car and the car park to head toward the Lapwing and Goosander Hide's overlooking Ibsley Water, having had a quick peep through the Tern Hide and being greeted by a dead Mute Swan, wings outstretched and pointing towards the Pearly Gates, we hoped for better sightings.

Around 1200metres later whilst setting the camera up on a couple of Long Tailed Tits flitting around in the Wintery sun, I realise that I don't actually have a Memory Card in the camera! And so happens the first Schoolboy Error of the year. a 25 minute round trip later, I join Kath in the Lapwing hide with both spare memory cards I carry in my camera bag. The hides other inhabitants looking a little surprised at my sweat cover brow, after my Half Run, Half Walk to catch up. So now I can talk about birds, Ibsley water was absolutely teaming with Waterfowl, thousands of Coots, Wigeon, Mallard, Mute Swans, Tufted Duck, Canadian Geese, Greylag Geese, Goosanders, Great-Black Backed Gull, Shoveler, Shellduck, Gadwall, Black Headed Gull, Cormorant, Grey Heron & first Rarity a female Scaup.
Tufted Duck
After a brief port of call in the Goosander hide, we headed across the road to the smaller, and more woodland surround lakes & the rather impressive Woodland Hide. Now I know I like to moan about photographers, but this really took the biscuit. I'll set the scene. An octagonal Hide with only the 2 end windows open-able, the rest of the glass blacked out due to the close proximity of the Feeders 2-3 metres in front. Now in a free moving, care for other nature lovers kind of way you kind of expect the turn around for a seat on the open windows to be fast moving, take your picture and move on let someone else have a go kind of thing. Instead no we are just gonna sit here all day annoying other people. I overheard that the 3 "Photographers" hogging the window, had been perched there since 8.35am, I looked at my watch, 2.45pm. To make matters worse, they were all deep in conversation, with Nuthatch, Siskin, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Treecreeper & Lesser Redpoll all flocking in around the feeders and not one being photographed because of a more interesting conversation about the length of time the British Butterfly Association website had been up and running. Therefore I apologise for the not quite crystal clear sharpness I could have had if permitted a seat for 5minutes rather than having to shoot through blackened windows.
Lesser Redpoll
Great Tit
All in all other than my ever dwindling disrespect for other members of the general public, a fairly good trip was had. We did manage another first and Im sure a rarety, a bit far for a decent picture but definately possitvely identified a Ferruginous Duck out on the Ivy Lake in amongst some Pochard. Which takes my county list up too 63 so far for 2012.


  1. Nice account. I have done the same trick as you a few times, leaving my memory card in the computer. I keep meaning to put a spare one in the car ! I also took ownership of the same Monopod on Saturday, need to sort a decent strap, as my camera kit ( SX30 powershot) is fairly light)

  2. You shouls start to worry when your respect for other members of the public dwindles to my level Martin!!

    Least you saw some nice birds :-)